Creches may bring more women to defence forces, Dáil told

Army creche facilities may lure more women into the Defence Forces, the Dáil heard today.

Opposition defence spokesman Jimmy Deenihan said the state’s 8,500 soldiers should not be discriminated against when it came to providing childcare services in the workplace.

A Government report is currently investigating the feasibility of creche facilities in the Army and Defence Minister Willie O’Dea said he will give the issue strong consideration.

Fine Gael TD Mr Deenihan said: “More female officers may come into the Army.

“I think creche facilities at the Curragh would be one of the many incentives you need to have in order to attract women into the Army.

“It cannot be dismissed minister, and I hope you’re not dismissing it.”

The Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC) is one of the many Army units located at the Curragh.

Mr O’Dea said funding for creche facilities would come out of the “depleted capital budget” for his Department.

He said issues such as the costs and demand for the service must all be considered.

“Many things have been sacrificed on the altar of fiscal rectitude by many governments in the history of this state,” he said.

But he added: “I will look at it very sympathetically.”


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